Hogwarts has two Herbology Professors! Last time, I talked to Professor Dracheblume. This time, I talked to Professor Dumorney. Professor Dumorney is not American at all. She is English instead (but most Professors here are English, of course). She has been at Hogwarts for a very very long time. I think she must be very old, but I did not remember to ask her that. Normally I do. But then again, maybe I should not ask that because some people are very sensitive about things like that, just like with asking Flutterby if she was raised by wolves. Professor Dumorney is very busy, but there was also the Hearty Party going on, so we had to meet a couple of times.
As with Professor Dracheblume, I met with Professor Dumorney in the Professors’ greenhouse. This is the one that has the enormous planet Edna. This time the Professor sat in the big chair, and I got to have the chair that was not right next to Edna. Edna scares me, so I felt better here, even if it only meant that I would have only an extra second before the plant would eat me. I do not know if Edna eats people. Professor Dumorney said that Edna will not hurt me, but that I should not touch her anyway. Which makes me think that Edna could eat me anyway. So I was a little nervous. So I asked the Professor if she was sure Edna would not eat me, and she just said again not to touch Edna or cast spells on her. And she said the same rule applies to Professors too! That must mean that Edna is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! So do not touch her or bother her or hex her. She does not like that and will eat you. Probably.
So after Edna, here is the stuff we talked about:
What is your first name?
She said her name is Elspeth.
My name is Timocleia, but nobody calls me that. They all call me Timmy. Is there something that people call you? Or just Elspeth?
She said that people just call her Elspeth. Of course, we all call her Professor. But she also said she has a middle name: Emmeline. And she said that her parents liked names that start with E. I did not ask her if people call her E.E. or even just Eeeeee. I forgot. Maybe that is something my readers can do?
Where did you grow up?
Professor Dumorney was not very happy about this question. She said she was from Oxford until she was ten. But then her parents moved a lot. She did not say why. But she said Hogwarts was home in her first two years here. And she said Ravenclaw was her family. She was a Ravenclaw. Of course. Or it would be weird for them to be her family and not her regular House. She says her parents finally went home just before her Third Year. I suppose that was Oxford again. I forgot to ask that.
So why did your parents move so much? Do you know?
She said she did not really know. Her parents moved a lot between 1996 and the year 2000. And they moved a lot in 1996 and 1997. I think she said they moved every couple of weeks. And she got a lot of owls. She thinks it is because of the Battle of Hogwarts. But she does not know because her parents never told her.
And I had to go get ready for the Hearty Party. Which was very nice! Everybody looked so pretty. I was not there for the love potion thing that Jeeves did, but I did see Jeeves outside. Anyway, that is not part of the interview, so I will not talk about any of that. Except that I think Professor Dracheblume carried me up to Gryffindor Tower. And I am only saying that because she is the other Herbology Professor and this interview is about a Herbology Professor. Anyway, we met again, back in the Professors’ Greenhouse. But since Professor Dumorney had talked about the Battle, I decided to ask her:
Were you here when the big Battle happened?
She said she was a First Year during the Battle. And she was there when it was starting, but that she left the Castle with almost all the other students younger than seventeen. They all went to the Hog’s Head Inn in Hogsmeade through a tunnel that is not there anymore. But she said a few students under seventeen stayed and fought in the Battle.
Did you know anyone who died?
The Professor said that yes, she did know some of the people who died, but they were all a lot older than she was, so she was not good friends with any of them. So it was not like how the First Year Gryffindors all know Brianna. She is a very good Prefect and I like her very much. It would be very bad if she died. I am glad there is no Dark Lord that is trying to attack the castle. This year.
What is your favourite colour?
She said that blue is her favourite colour.
Is that because you were a Ravenclaw?
Professor Dumorney says that blue was her favourite colour before she was a Ravenclaw. I wonder if maybe the Sorting Hat is just figuring out what everyone’s favorite colour is and is just putting us in those houses. It feels like that is how a lot of people get Sorted. I like red very much. So maybe that is why I am in Gryffindor? But I also like green a lot. Green and red are two colours of the Welsh flag. But I am glad I was not Sorted into Slytherin. I think that would be very bad. Because there are people in Slytherin who do not like me or my ears. They want to hurt me. They are very bad.
Did they have the Hearty Party way back when you were a student? Is that new? And were you sad that all the Ravenclaws had to wear their robes to the party this year and could not wear pretty dresses and clothes?
She said they had parties at Hogwarts way back then too, but she did not say if they had a Hearty Party. Anyway, she was sad that the Ravenclaws had to wear robes to the Hearty party, but she said that because Professor Green had made the punishment, she should not say anything about it.
Have you been at Hogwarts for a very long time?
Professor Durmorney said that she and Professor Dracheblume got to Hogwarts as Professors in the same week. They even gave their first lesson together! That was six years ago. That is very very long ago! It is almost all my life that I can remember!
What do you like most about Herbology? Why do you teach that, and not something else?
She said that she was good at Herbology and Potions in school, and she liked the outdoors and nature. So she was always doing Herbology things on the grounds. She could not do that in her First Year because of how the school was in the year before the Battle, but she did it in Second Year and later. So after school she went around the world and did Herbology sorts of things and learned from people.
Where were you before you came to Hogwarts as a Professor?
Professor Dumorney did not say where she was. She just said that she was traveling when she got her letter from the Headmistress, who was a fisher back then. Or maybe was called Fisher. Anyway, she must have been somewhere far away from everything because she said the letter took months to get to her. But I did not ask her more because she seemed to be sensitive about that sort of thing. Maybe that is something my readers can ask her about if they are careful, like asking if anyone ever called her ‘Eeeeee.’
What do you like the most about Hogwarts?
The students! She likes the students. But she also likes the staff here. She likes to watch students learning. So maybe she spies on us in the library. So look out. Because she likes to see our faces when we stop messing up and finally do something right. She also likes the grounds of Hogwarts, and the castle, and that it is so close to Hogsmeade too. So maybe she will be spying on us learning on the grounds too, or even in Hogsmeade. So, again, watch out. But she seems very nice, so I do not think she will do anything bad.
What is your favourite sweet?
Professor Dumorney said her favourite when she was a First Year was Chocolate Frogs. And she likes Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, except that she does not like every flavour of the Every Flavour Beans. She really likes the banana and marshmallow beans. It is too bad that there is not a Bertie Bott’s Banana and Marshmallow Flavour Beans. Because then maybe you would never get Ear Wax, Liver or Spinach beans. And you would never get a Sock-flavoured bean. I got a Sock bean once. It was not a clean Sock. I did not like it at all. Ew.
What do you think of detentions? Do you give a lot of detentions?
She said she used to give a lot of detentions. And there were some students years ago who got a lot. But she did not say who. I do not know why, unless those students are still at Hogwarts. Anyway, she does not give out lots of detentions anymore. She said that they do not always work, and sometimes she has to go further. So I asked her,
What do you mean by ‘further?’ What is past detentions?
The Professor said that ‘further’ means meetings with the Head of House and the Headmistress. I am not sure what that means, but it sounds scary. I know that some people have been suspended, so maybe that is what she means? But I will not say who because they are still students here at Hogwarts and I like them. Maybe I should not say even that much. But I did so there it is.
Is there anything you want to say to the students of Hogwarts? It can be anything.
Professor Dumorney says rules are there for a reason: to keep students safe. So do not do anything that would put you in danger, or others. And right about then, there was a strange sound in the Forbidden Forest, kind of like a tree being chomped, maybe, and she said she would take me back to the castle unless I had more questions. But I still had questions. So I asked her,
Is there anything you would change about Hogwarts?
She said she would make it so that nobody under seventeen could step into the Forbidden Forest at all. I did not like that idea. I want to go in there very much. But I do not go in because it is Forbidden! But it would be a lot of fun to go in anyway. But we can not go in there now because of the big Security Trolls, so maybe the Professor wants the trolls there? Maybe she wants more trolls? Maybe we could go in behind the Caretaker’s Hut. The trees are just there. I do not know if the wall goes all the way to the Hut. Maybe it does not. Or maybe there is another way past the Broom Cupboard. Because there are trees there too, and I do not know if the wall goes all the way there. But I am not saying anyone should go try to find out! Do not do that. Professor Dumorney would not like that. And the Headmistress would not like that either. And the trolls would not like that, and they might bite your hand off, like they did to that one boy. So keep your hands and stay out of the Forest. Okay?
Do you have a pet? Is Edna like a pet?
The Professor said that Edna is definitely not a pet. She has her own mind. Of course, pets have minds too, but she said Edna does not care about making people happy. She does her own thing. Maybe she is like a cat, then. Anyway, Professor Dumorney said she does have a pet. She has an owl called Screech.
Can I make a picture of you for Owl Club?
She said yes so here it is. And then I went back to the castle. I looked back to see if she was watching me, and she was. Just like she might watch students in the Library. Or on the grounds. Or in Hogsmeade. She likes to watch us learn. Just remember that when you try to go into the Forest. But I am not telling you to go into the Forest. It is very important that you do not go into the Forest, okay?
Professor Dumorney is one of our Herbology Professors. She seems very nice, and she has been here a very long time, just like our other Herbology Professor. She is English and her name is Elspeth but people just call her Elspeth. Maybe they call her ‘Eeeeee’ but I do not know. I forgot to ask. She was here in the Battle of Hogwarts, and she knew people who died, which is very sad. She was not very good friends with anyone who died, so that is less sad, but it is still very sad anyway. She sometimes gives lots of detentions, but she says she does not give as many out now because sometimes she has to go further. Professor Dumorney’s parents moved around a lot, and she did too until she finally came back to Hogwarts. Now she is here and happy. She likes to watch us learn. She really likes the look our faces when we do something right instead of messing it up. So she might spy on us in the Library or on the grounds or in Hogsmeade. So be careful, and do not go into the Forest. Because it is not safe and Professor Dumorney knows a lot about not safe because she knew students who died here at Hogwarts. Of course, they were fighting a battle against a Dark Lord and that is a lot less safe than going into the Forest. But their Headmistress let them do it anyway. So maybe our Headmistress will someday let us go in the Forest? We can always hope, if you like going into forests. I like going into forests.
Maybe we can go to the Hog’s Head Inn in Hogsmeade instead of the Three Broomsticks now that the Three Broomsticks does not let all students in and is mean to part-Goblins.